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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

46         HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

Pre-ephebic education, we may take it, then, had become
fixed in its essential characters. It was different with the education
of the ephebi and those of still more mature years. In their
case, the loss of political independence on the part of the city
States had altered the whole conditions by diminishing the
importance of the old military training, and setting free for a
life of study many who would formerly have occupied themselves
in the service of the State. In consequence of these changes, the
ephebic training ceased to be compulsory, and a new organisation
for higher education which at a later time developed into a kind
of university, began to take form.

The transformation of the ephebic system in Athens from a
purely military institution into a college that combined the
military with a more general training is recorded in a remarkable
series of inscriptions which extend with some breaks from the
beginning of the Macedonian period till the Third Century A.O*
These show that before the end of the Fourth Century B.c*
enrolment among the ephebi had become voluntary, that the time
of service was reduced from two years to one, and that the former
regulations about age had been relaxed (as is indicated by the
fact that brothers occur together on the lists), In the Second
Century B.C. the names of foreigners appear, showing that the
ephebic training had ceased to be entirely confined to Athenians,
and in some cases, at least, formed part of the education for which
youths came from other lands to Athens*

An inscription recording a vote of thanks proposed in the
Senate sometime about the beginning of the First Century B.C.
gives an interesting view of the ephebic system at that date:
" That whereas the ephebi of last year sacrificed duly at their
matriculation in the Guildhall in the presence of their Reetor
and the Priests of the People and the Pontiffs, and conducted
the procession in honour of Artemis, and took part in others
of like kind, and ran in the customary torch-races, and escorted
the statue of Pallas to Phalerum, and helped to bring it back
again, and carried Dionysus also from his shrine to the theatre
in like fashion, and brought a bull worthy of the god at the
Dionysiac festival; and have been regular in their attendance
all the year at the gymnasia, and punctually obeyed their Rector,
thinking it of paramount importance to observe discipline and
to study diligently what the People has prescribed;—whereas